Types of Generators: Which one is right for your needs?

Wherever you are, take a quick mental inventory of all the things around you that are using electricity. With the many conveniences of our lives, it is easy to forget that electricity does not magically appear from rectangular holes in the wall.

But what happens when that electric current stops? Be it a snowstorm or a spring thunderstorm, sometimes the lights go out.

Most people think of generators as an electric replacement during an emergency, but there are also plenty of other reasons to have or use a generator.

Many recreational vehicle owners use a generator as an extra power source. Construction sites often use generators to run their appliances. Some businesses that face regular power outages have generators that can power their entire building.

Regardless of the type of generator you need, it is necessary to learn about the functions of each type so that you can make the most informed, hence the most economical decision.

Standby Generator

This type of generator is the best for homes and businesses that typically suffer from regular power outages. As the name standby generator implies, this machine will independently start itself when it detects an outage.

Many prefer standby generators because they will turn themselves on, whether or not anyone is in the building. This is an extremely convenient feature because you may not know when the power is out, especially if you are hours away or even out of the state or country.

Although standby generators are convenient, they also come at a price. Standby generators require a professional to install them, which can be quite expensive. They are also more expensive to purchase than other types of generators.

Many businesses choose to have a standby generator to protect their investment. For instance, it would be necessary for a business that stores food to have a standby generator so that an outage does not ruin their supply.

Portable Generator

These generators, like standby generators, are also used during emergencies like power outages. However, they can also function in many other capacities. Portable generators can be used for yard work, on job sites, during camping trips and more.

Many portable generators operate on gasoline, however some of them can be electric. Typically electric generators do not have the power capacity, called watts, that generators powered by fossil fuels will have.

When considering a portable generator, it is best to think of the weight of the generator to know whether or not it can be easily moved and the size of the generator so that it can be easily stored.

Consumers also want to consider how loud their generator is, particularly if they want to take it camping. A loud generator can ruin the ambience of the outdoors as well as disturb other campers.

Mobile Towable Generator

A mobile towable generator is much larger and is typically used on construction job sites to operate equipment that requires more power than home appliances.

These generators are mobile once attached by a hitch to the back of a vehicle. Because these generators are so large, they are also much louder and heavier than home generators.

Inverter Generator

This type of generator is new compared to other types. Its output is AC power like other generators, however before it outputs that to devices, it first converts its AC current to DC power and then back to AC, which provides a cleaner energy.

A cleaner energy means that it is more stable and regular, providing a better output for electronics that can be damaged by surges in the power sources they are plugged into.

Inverter generators are usually smaller and lighter. Depending on their type, they also may have a lower wattage than other types of generators.


To make the right decision for your needs, you first need to be informed about which types of generators will help give you the results you are seeking.

For instance, if you were hoping to charge laptops in the middle of the wilderness, you would likely want an inverter generator but if you need to power a hammer drill, you would likely need something with stronger power. So, now that you know about these generators, it is time to get ready to rid your energy issues. Good luck with your choice!

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